Between meeting President-Elect Donald Trump and running three companies, Tesla Motors Corp. (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk does not have much time for interviews and press conferences. Instead he uses Twitter (TWTR) to make major announcements or for conversations and updates. His tweet stream is a mix of humor, information, and a first-hand llook into the issues that occupy one of the world's most famous entrepreneurs and billionaires. He also uses Twitter to engage with fans and critics. 

There were many from the latter category in an especially volatile year for the company. After all, this was the year that Tesla ventured into mass production of electric cars, completed an acquisition of SolarCity Corp. (SCTY), despite strident opposition, and was showered with public outrage and negative media coverage for the death of a motorist who was using the Autopilot feature in a Tesla car.   

Through these events, Musk used Twitter to communicate with his severest critics. Here are three examples. 

Tesla Driver's Autopilot Death

In July, Fortune writer Carol Loomis published a post on the magazine’s website charging the electric carmaker with withholding material information from investors during a large stock sale by Musk because it did not disclose the death of a Tesla driver who had used the company's autopilot feature. That set Musk off and he fired back at the magazine. In his tweets, Musk said that one million auto deaths worldwide would have been saved if Tesla’s autopilot feature was universally available. He accused Fortune of writing a “BS” article that increased its advertising revenue. Eventually though, the SEC opened an investigation into the Palo Alto company, which released an updated version of its Autopilot software in September.


Musk Takes on Coal CEO 

In October, Murray Energy CEO Robert E. Murray appeared on CNBC’s Squawk Box and called Tesla “a fraud” who “has gotten $2 billion from taxpayers.” Musk tweeted that the real fraud was denial of climate change and challenged Murray to a situation where both, renewable energy sources and coal, went down to zero subsidy. 

Taking On Fake News Trolls 

Right after the U.S. presidential election, when fake news became the topic du jour, Musk used Twitter to poke fun at the content from fake news sites. He has already been at the receiving end of several fake news articles. Musk linked to a fake news article and included a reference to a character from hit television show South Park before criticizing the fake story's the source and writing style. 

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